We always hope to support our medical weight loss clients in any way possible, and that can include steering them toward the fitness apps and devices that help them. But if you’ve tried apps, trackers, and even exercise equipment that includes calorie counters, you might have noticed wide discrepancies in their numbers. So are those calorie counters even accurate? And should you bother with them?
To some degree, yes, calorie counters can be helpful. But it’s important to remember that the numbers are based on data from “averages.” If you’re of average weight, in average cardiovascular shape, and have an average muscle to fat ratio, those numbers displayed on your calorie counter might be fairly accurate. But for everyone else, the truth will deviate a bit (or even a lot) from the machine’s calculations.
For example, if your weight is much greater than average, you will need to exert more energy to move your body. That’s good news for people who want to lose a lot of weight, because their level of exertion will be higher at first. The same goes for your level of cardiovascular fitness. If you’re not in great shape, you’ll expend more energy to perform a particular exercise than Mr Universe would.
Another thing to remember is that reading your calorie burn can have an unintended effect. When you think you’ve burned a lot of calories in the gym, you might be tempted to “reward” yourself later. The problem is that an inaccurate calorie count from exercise could tempt you into an inappropriate reward. And if you’re not great at estimating the calories in food, you might “reward” yourself a bit too much! In the end, all this guesswork could lead to you consuming more calories, rather than fewer.
Calorie counters are bad devices; just don’t count on them to be 100 percent accurate. If you’re following your medical weight loss nutrition plan, plus exercising for thirty minutes or more each day, you should begin to see results. Focus on effort, rather than specific numbers, and remember to call us with any questions you have. We can help you determine which foods you should be eating, and how much you should be exercising, in order to reach your health and fitness goals.